Organizing Kids’ Closets – You Can Do It!

posted by Andrea | 02/25/2011

Most of my clients are moms.

Moms… with kids… with LOTS of stuff!

It’s crazy how much “stuff” kids bring into a home, isn’t it?

source

Not only do kids have an over abundance of clothes, toys, games, books, and treasures, they also seem to change sizes and preferences every few months!  Plus, they want to keep EVERYTHING and often it’s just easier to let them.

So their stuff piles up and piles up until you have to do something about it.

Sound familiar?

Well, it’s THAT time of year. Spring is just around the corner and your kids’ wardrobes will be changing from winter to summer so now is a great time to go through their rooms, their closets, their dressers, and get rid of anything they aren’t using or don’t need.

Here are a few simple tips to get you started.

Step # 1: Purge

This is often the most overwhelming part for moms, but it doesn’t have to be! Try a few of these ideas and see if you can’t make it a fun experience for you…and your kids!

1. Have a Mini Fashion Show:

Get your kids to try on all their clothes and walk up and down the hallway to “show them off”. You’ll easily be able to see what fits and what doesn’t and your kids will be entertained for a while!

Donate anything that doesn’t fit or store for your next child.

{see additional kids organizing products at IKEA}

2.  Use Incentives:

I’m never above a good bribe {wink} so if you’re trying to encourage your child to part with some of their treasures, consider offering to buy them ONE new thing if they get rid of 10 or 20 old things.

3. Give Them a Junk Drawer:

You shouldn’t force your kids to get rid of everything…after all, you have a junk drawer, don’t you?

Give your kids one drawer, one box, one shelf, etc. where they can keep all their beautiful rocks, shells, leave, beads, sucker sticks, and other valuables. When that area is full, go through it with them and purge again.

4. Get Them Involved in the Process:

Kids are SO much more likely to get organized {and stay organized} if they are allowed to make some of the decisions too. Ask them what they like and actually listen to their thoughts. It will make a big difference.

If they tell you they won’t wear something or won’t play with a certain toy — they won’t. So your best bet it just to get rid of it now and utilize that space for something else.

{I really like these fun organizers from Target. They could go in the closet or against a wall}

Step #2: Prioritize and Organize

Now that you’ve gone through all their clothing, toys, games, and anything else in their closet, you should hopefully have a nice big pile to donate! Put those items in your vehicle and then start organizing what you plan to keep.

1. Make Organizing Fun:

Install a basketball hoop above the hamper for a fun way to pick up clothes. Use fun hangers with their favorite character on them {believe me, they make ALL kinds of hangers now days}.

Do something to make the process fun for them and hopefully they’ll be more likely to keep it organized.

2. Implement Lots of Color:

Kids love color, and now days, you can find bins, baskets, boxes, and shelf paper in any color you want. So pick your kid’s favorite colors and let them go crazy. If you hate it — just shut the doors. The important thing is they will love it and be much more likely to keep it organized.

3. Use Picture Labels:

Even if your kids CAN read, it’s still nice to have the picture and the word. Put labels on every drawer, shelf, basket, or bin so they know exactly where everything is supposed to go.

It’s also a great idea to pick out their clothes for the week and label them by day. I love these adorable hanging “day-of-the-week” labels from Living Locurto.

Step #3: Put Everything Away

Once you’ve gone through everything and made decisions on what to keep and what to toss, you’ll have to put everything away in it’s proper place. And this may sound obvious to some…but make sure your kids know where to put things away too!

1. To Donate:

Put these items in the car immediately so you resist the temptation to pick through. This will also prevent your kids from pulling items back out. Then the next time you’re near a drop-off location, the items will be in your car, ready to go.

2. To Store:

Any items you want to store for your next child or for next year should go in plastic tubs in a designated area. Maybe in an extra closet, under the bed, or in the basement. Just make sure the bins are labeled with the size and season of clothing so you know when to bring each bin out of storage.

3. To Keep:

Anything you’re planning to keep should go in the dresser drawers or in the closet. If possible, I like to put all their clothing in the closet to free up more floor space for playing.
Take a few moments this weekend to go through your kids’ closets and make a little breathing room. You CAN do it!

What are your best tips for keeping kids organized?

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11 comments

  1. Jodimichelle

    02/25/2011

    Ha! About once a week I completely “organize” my kids’ room – they’re sharing right now as we’re living in an apartment. So ALL their stuff needs to fit into one dresser, one small closet and a few under the bed bins. I am going a little bit crazy trying to keep everything in it’s place.

    My daughter gets in on the helping and my son is just learning the “belong game” – where do things belong? And then happily dances his toys to their respective bins. It’s just hard to stay on top of it with laundry, toys, crumbs and papers.

    Great tips though!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow, once a week! You should get an award for that!!

    And I love your “belong game” idea — so cleaver :)

    [Reply]

  2. Jamie C.

    02/25/2011

    I recently found a website called thredup.com. It is a used clothing and toy exchange for children’s items. When you sign up, the company sends you postage-paid boxes for you to fill with similar sized items of clothing or toys. You post the contents of your box on the website, and other families can look through to choose which box of clothing best fits their needs. If they choose yours, you’ll be notified and you just send it away with no cost to you. Then you can also choose boxes that you would like to purchase that fits your needs. I’m pretty sure it’s a flat fee of 15 and some change for each box. They say that you usually get about 15 items in a box, so that’s only $1/piece!

    I personally haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but it seems like such a great way to help others, and to purge some of the clothes and toys that your kids have outgrown. With one baby girl already, and hopefully more soon, I’m hoping to use this a lot!

    Thanks for all the great tips in this and all your posts!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for that information Jamie,

    I actually just heard about that website too, but have not looked into it yet. Sounds like an interesting concept — and $1 per items is an amazing deal!

    [Reply]

    MainlineMom Reply:

    I’m a BIG fan of thredUp! My only problem now is they don’t have as much for me to choose from in big boy sizes, but it’s great when kids are smaller. In fact I did a video review of them once: http://www.waterwatereverywhere.net/2010/08/fashion-friday-back-to-school-shopping.html

    I’m lucky that I have a ton of closet space in my house, including a huge closet for each of my two boys, another used exclusively for storing the hand-me-down clothes, and I use my guest bedroom closet to prep for consignment sales. I’m constantly weeding out clothes that are too small for my youngest and I bring them to the guest room and either hang them up (and maybe tag them) for consignment or toss them in the “donate” box. Large seasonal consignment sales are a lot of work but I make really good money for my stuff when I put in the effort!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh good, another “threadUp” fan!

    Wow, sounds like you have a ton of extra closet space…you ARE lucky! I love your system for moving the clothing out of your kid’s closets and into the “consignment” area. If you have the space and time, I definitely think it’s worth it for your to sell their outgrown clothing.

    [Reply]

  3. Karla

    03/06/2011

    Hi Andrea,

    Thanks for the great post! This information is very helpful. I am starting some spring cleaning today and wasn’t sure where I was going to start. You have inspired me to start in my two boys’ rooms.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh good….what a great weekend project!

    Happy organizing!

    [Reply]

  4. Suzanne

    03/12/2011

    After doing my son’s laundry, I take what is folded and organize them by outfits in his drawer. While I still offer him two choices each day (and he will often mix the t-shirt and pants from different sets), I half have the work done already.

    [Reply]

  5. Randi

    08/14/2012

    I loved this article. My boyfriend and I have 4 kids between the 2 of us (18 months, 3,5,and 9) and we are all crammed into a 3br house. I will definitely be doing this soon! Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

  6. Jimmy

    10/03/2012

    Donating old clothes is the best way to clear the cabinet, though for me I still store them somewhere so some of my relatives with kids can just pick those up when they come by for a visit. Another way to at least organize these clothes is to use clear containers aside from placing a label on each one so it would be easier for them to see the items inside, saves time when you are looking for pick specific clothes inside it.

    [Reply]

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